Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is the Board?

The Amsterdam Economic Board, or Board for short, works with decision-makers, innovation managers and changemakers within the business community and knowledge institutions on a smart, green and healthy future for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

The Board is the point where collaboration begins. In the complex social playing field, the Board acts as an independent player between the parties and promotes cooperation between benevolent leaders.

The focus is on the most urgent and relevant initiatives & programs and on areas where we have the expertise, knowledge and manpower in the region to really make a difference and which also offer economic growth potential.

We create space for new ideas and work together on innovations by:

Building ecosystems – We have a unique network function and bring organisations together that do not automatically meet each other. These ecosystems are the breeding ground for knowledge exchange and the starting point for new partnerships.

Identifying innovative opportunities – The Board plays an important role in spotting opportunities for new forms of innovative cooperation and activity, eg through theme-oriented learning communities, consortiums with forerunners or working on new business models.

Boosting and mobilizing a network – Based on identified opportunities, the Board activates the network to conduct experiments, pilots and set up programs.

Offering data-driven insights – The Board has an important strategic knowledge function and provides data-driven insights at various levels; facts & figures about the region, trend analyses and future scenarios.

Agenda setting – We are further expanding the Board to the place where thought leaders discuss the future of the region and cooperation on metropolitan challenges.

What are the ambitions?

For 2025 we envisioned a dot on the horizon. We want to get there as a region in 2025 when Amsterdam celebrates its 750th anniversary:

Everything we do as a Board we do for the smart, green and healthy future of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area: a CO2-neutral, circular region in which we live longer and healthier and a reliable, sustainable digital society in which everyone’s talent is developed.

Smart 2025
The contours of a fair and sustainable digital economy will be visible in 2025. A digital society in which public values are safeguarded, enabling us to apply technology responsibly to our social issues and the digitization of the economy.

Green 2025
In 2025, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area will be an attractive place where a sustainable future for new generations will become visible: on the way to CO2-neutral industry, emission-free mobility, with the reuse of or renewable materials.

Healthy 2025
In 2025 we will live an average of two years longer in a healthy way. We are committed to a longer healthy life in a healthy environment. Specific points of attention are clean transport, reusage of materials and smart use of data and artificial intelligence.

We work to achieve our ambitions from 9 initiatives and 3 programs.

What role does the Board play?

The Board is a connector and builder. As an independent player, we bring together leaders who do not automatically encounter each other.

The Board organization works together with Board members, the members of the Network Council and other parties from the region on a smart, green and healthy region.

Everyone’s share is crucial: companies function as innovators and forerunners, knowledge institutions provide essential thinking power and governments are indispensable as investors, regulators and purchasers.

The starting point is always mobilizing energy, ownership and executive power within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

We work together with our network to achieve our ambitions by focusing on concrete initiatives and programs. That is the core of our work.

We drive promising initiatives in the region with the potential for further implementation and upscaling, with parties from our network in the lead.

Who are the Board members & the Board?

The Board consists of leading directors of knowledge institutions, members of boards of directors of companies and aldermen and mayors from the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Together they set the strategic direction with ambitions for 6 themes and the programs TechConnect, Amsterdam Smart City and House of Skills for a smart, green and healthy region in 2025.

The Board conducts the strategic-economic discussion about the future region. In addition, they commit to one or more initiatives and deploy their own resources, knowledge and networks to realize these ambitions.

What is the Network Council?

140 members of the Network Council actively contribute to the realization of the region’s ambitions. They initiate and develop initiatives together with other partners and/or contribute to the Board’s programs. Initiatives that make and keep the region attractive to live and work. In addition, they participate in discussions about topics on the Board agenda. Their social involvement in the region is of great importance. Together they are building a smart, healthy and green future for the region. Want to become a member too? Then click here.

What is the International Advisory Board (IAB)?

The International Advisory Board (IAB) was established by the Board to provide a strong connection between the work of the Board and relevant international developments such as insights from other urban regions.

As an advisor, the IAB contributes to the international network development and strategic positioning of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area in Europe and the rest of the world. The members of the IAB are also valuable ambassadors abroad for the region.

Curious about who is in the IAB? Then click here.

What is Young on Board?

Young on Board is a member of the Board and thus forms the link between young changemakers and experienced decision-makers. Young people look, think and work differently. While the older generation has the connections, knowledge, experience and realization power.

By bringing both together, inspiration is created on both sides, and innovative plans can be realized. For example, they work together on the economic growth and quality of life of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. Want to know more? Then click here.

What is the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area?

The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area consists of 32 municipalities, the provinces of North Holland and Flevoland and the Amsterdam Transport Region. It is a region known for its high quality of life with an attractive level of amenities, good public transport and a relatively highly educated population. There is a constant need for innovation to further strengthen this position, also with an increasing number of residents. We tackle the most pressing metropolitan problems in areas where we have the expertise, knowledge and manpower to really make a difference. Here you will find an infographic about the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Within the themes on which the Board is working, we are building ecosystems within the region.

What is the Board’s mission?

The Amsterdam Economic Board is working towards the smart, green and healthy future of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area for all residents. We connect the business community, knowledge institutions and governments to work together on concrete actions within 9 initiatives and 3 programs.

What themes does the Board work on?

We have the substantive and strategic expertise to spot new trends and developments and to put our themes on the agenda as well as relevant and urgent topics. the six themes are: Energy, Circular Economy, Mobility, Health, Digital Connectivity and Talent for the Future. These topics are relevant to all metropolitan regions in the world. Our region has the potential to become internationally distinctive by developing solutions for issues in which preservation and enhancement of quality of life is paramount. There is ample willingness on these themes among parties in the region to jointly give concrete substance to the implementation.

How did the Board come about?

The Amsterdam Economic Board was founded in 2010 by companies, knowledge institutions and governments in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area with the aim of sustainably strengthening the region’s economy. KennisKring Amsterdam Foundation – founded in 1994 for the development of the regional knowledge infrastructure – and the Amsterdam Innovation Motor (AIM) were pioneers. In 2004, the KennisKring started the project ‘Amsterdam Innovation Motor’ (AIM). In August 2006, AIM became a foundation and started operating as an independent organization. AIM – independent from 2006 – focused on strengthening the innovation climate for governments, knowledge institutions and companies. The foundation initiated initiatives in which these parties and social organizations worked together.

Can the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area distinguish itself internationally on these challenges?

The properties of the MRA are ideally suited to respond to a rapidly changing world:

  • Sufficient critical mass of activities (large/small) that are important for cooperation on these metropolitan challenges.
  • A large concentration of (small) innovative companies that can develop (and market) new products and services.
  • A strong scientific knowledge base in the field of these metropolitan issues.
  • A cooperating government that uses the right instruments to enable innovation.
  • The presence of a strong physical and digital infrastructure.
  • Active citizens’ initiatives that are open to innovation.

Can the themes and initiatives change over time?

The ambition is to have taken major steps towards a smart, green and healthy future for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area by 2025. The route there cannot be predicted in a rapidly changing world. The Board maps uncertainties and transitions in order to be able to respond flexibly as a region. The themes and initiatives can therefore change over time if this offers opportunities or is necessary for the region.

Who pays the Board?

The Board is funded by the business community, knowledge institutions and governments from the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Where is the Board located?

The Board is located at Marineterrein, Kattenburgerstraat 5, in Amsterdam. Here you will find our location and contact details.

Is the Board only for Amsterdam?

No, the Board focuses on the entire Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA). This area extends from IJmuiden to Lelystad and from Purmerend to Haarlemmermeer. Here you will find a map of the MRA.

Can I get funding from the Amsterdam Economic Board?

The Board itself does not provide funding for projects.

How do I get in touch with someone from the Board?

Click here for any information.

Can I serve on the Board?

Board members are asked by invitation only. This includes looking at the ration between members from the business community, knowledge institutions and governments. You are more than welcome to become active in the Board community in other ways, for example by joining the Network Council.

Are Board members being paid?

No, the members volunteer for a strong regional economy.

How do I keep up to date with news and Board meetings?

Register for the Board Update – if you’re comfortable reading in Dutch. Then you will also receive invitations to our events. We regularly publish news articles and feature stories about the initiatives we are actively working on with the network.

How does the Board relate to the municipalities in the MRA?

The Board is an autonomous foundation. The municipalities of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area are represented on the Board. In addition, the Board is partly financed by municipalities in the region.

How does the Board compare to other regions?

The Board works closely with similar knowledge and innovation regions, such as Brainport Eindhoven region and with other Economic Development Boards, such as the ones in Utrecht and Rotterdam. We are committed to the Netherlands together.

What happened to the old cluster networks?

Since the strategic reorientation of the Amsterdam Economic Board in the autumn of 2015, the Board has been working on the Metropolis of the future by contributing to six themes. From that moment on, the Board has no longer been responsible for the management of the cluster networks that have been built up in the MRA in previous years.